SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

August 29, 2013

Merrimack River drowning victim ID'd

Staff reports
The Salem News

---- — SALISBURY — The 64-year-old woman who drowned in the Merrimack River on Sunday night has been identified as Diane Symmes of Andrews Lane in Amesbury.

Symmes’ body was discovered late Sunday inside Ring’s Island Marina, hours after she was reported missing from nearby Cove Marina. The U.S. Coast Guard, Salisbury police and the Salisbury harbormaster responded to the area for a search-and-rescue mission, after receiving a call that a woman had entered the water and was missing.

The search area extended from the town pier to Cove Marina. Volunteers and police officers with flashlights assisted in the search, as well.

Cove Marina is on the riverbank opposite Newburyport’s Cashman Park.

The Merrimack River has claimed two other lives in recent months.

In May, Newburyport police recovered the body of a German national who had been reported missing last November after falling out of the dingy he was piloting to retrieve his dog tied up near Cashman Park, in the same general area of the river where Sunday’s drowning occurred.

In June 2011, 29-year-old Derrick Lee’s body was found two days after he was believed to have slipped off the 20-foot cabin cruiser he had been living in, moored at Ring’s Island Marina.